John Butcher, Thomas Lehn, John Tilbury: Exta (2013)
That familiarity means that there are no tentative introductory exchanges here and, throughout, the music is characterised by a relaxed sense of calm and confidence. In this case, though, familiarity should not be equated with cosiness, complacency or travelling down well-worn pathways, far from it. This threesome is very different to any of the contexts in which those pairs met, so there is plenty of fertile ground to be explored here... and these three are up to the task. None of them dominates the trio and they contribute equally, each providing an impressive array of stimuli that move proceedings along and challenge the others. That is all done very subtly and smoothly with no surprising u-turns or jump cuts.
While Tilbury and Butcher both display their customary creativity and variety, it is Lehn's synth that is the most mercurial of the instruments as the German manages to find a broad spectrum of sounds to fit in around the piano and saxophone and complement them. Yes, here we have three experts at work, doing what they do best. It is difficult to think of a more pleasant way to pass an hour than in the company of this delightful album....
Track Listing: Pulmo I; Cor; Pulmo II; Iecur; Fel.
Personnel: John Butcher: saxophones; Thomas Lehn: synthesisers; John Tilbury: piano.
Record Label: Fataka
Style: Beyond Jazz